I’m on a little bit of a denim kick lately…I can’t imagine why. While searching for inspiration lately, I came across boro fabrics and sashiko stitching, a form of Japanese hand quilting done to repair old clothes and household items. Menders used a small running stitch to bind together multiple layers of fabrics to make clothing more durable and warmer.
Since making the denim canvases, I’ve been looking further into sashiko stitching techniques and modern mending techniques. Here’s a collection of some of my inspiration:
After cutting up so many pairs of worn-out and discarded jeans, I decided to give my own some love and attention before they end up in my art supply stash instead of my closet.
I was planning on just repairing the knee of one pair (left photo), but as I was laying them out, I discovered another hole, somewhere less visible (right photo). Oops!
I gathered up my supplies, first stitching down the leg and then across the leg.
The mend feels very sturdy and isn’t particularly noticeable from a distance. It looks more like a design element than a patch.Here’s the end result of the other rip. I used the tutorial from Adventures in Dressmaking, but with zig zag stitching instead of straight lines. It feels like I may have to repeat this patch on the other side very soon.
It feels good to have a pair of jeans that are in one piece. I can wear them without embarrassing my mother.
While reading about mending techniques, I learned about The Big Mend. It’s an occasional get-together in Bath, England led by Scrapiana. “The idea is to attack the mending pile in a convivial atmosphere, with mending advice and tips, necessary tools on hand, and the option of a nice cup of tea. And cakes.” If only I lived in England, I would love to go. Her blog is even inspiring me to learn sock darning. Or to fix that cardigan I ripped last Wednesday. New skills just seem to lead to a new To-Do Pile.
In other news, I finished my GAP-tastic Cowl with sport weight yarn from White Barn Farm in their chamomile colorway. It’s warm and cozy and it’s a fabulous colorway: grey, cream and sunshine yellow. The cowl only used one skein, so I still have an entire one left. I’m thinking about a pair of matching arm warmers/fingerless gloves, but I haven’t picked a pattern yet.
Have you mended anything lately? Do you have any good mending advice or sources to share with this beginner?